Interim Darton State College President Named
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Dr. Paul Jones, currently the senior vice president for Finance and Administration and a professor of Educational Administration at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, was appointed interim president for Darton State College by the University System of Georgia. The appointment is effective Monday, October 21. The University System of Georgia is the organizational body that includes 31 public institutions of higher learning in the U.S. state of Georgia.
“Dr. Jones has an impressive track record of leadership in higher education and we are fortunate he is able to step in and serve Darton State College in the coming months,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “Dr. Sireno has provided steady leadership at Darton for almost 25 years and has led the college through many major transitions that have enlarged its ability to serve the region.”
“This is an important transition moment for Darton College and Dr. Jones has our full support and confidence as he takes over the leadership and positions the College for its future,” Huckaby said.
Jones has served in a number of key leadership posts at Georgia College, including vice president for Administration and Operation, vice president and chief of staff, vice president for institutional research and enrollment management.
The appointment follows the surprise resignation of Darton State College President Peter Sireno from his position on Friday. In an email to the college trustees, Sireno said the Darton Board of Regents requested his resignation, effective immediately. According to Tracy Goode, dean of institutional advancement and public relations at Darton, no other information was available on the reasons behind this request.
Sireno had served Darton as president since 1991. In his annual State of the College address delivered in August 2013, Sireno boasted of a 90.5 percent increase in enrollment at Darton over the past 10 years. The school graduated its first Bachelor of Science majors this year and for the third consecutive year, Darton's Nursing Division graduated more registered nurses than any other college or university in Georgia.
However, in the same address Sireno noted, "our SACS-COC Compliance Report, or the first submission of our SACS-COC Compliance Certification Document for reaffirmation, was not favorably reviewed by the off-site committee of the accrediting commission. There were weaknesses in our response to most of the compliance areas in our original compliance report submittal that required we provide additional text clarification and elaborations, as well as additional supporting documentation."
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACS-COC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. SACS-COC was scheduled to make an onsite visit to Darton as part of the accreditation process in mid-October.